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February 6, 2008 at 11:22 pm ET
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Birthday Time: Take 38 — Quiz

 

 

Birthday Time — now complete with Dan Quisenberry poetry and bonus “best catch I’ve ever seen” footage!

You know what? Today’s is only the 38th installment of Birthday Time and already we’ve had three representatives from the 1985 World Series winning Royals. Coincidence? I think not. But do me a favor — if Pat Sheridan makes an appearance — feel free to intervene.

Seriously though, who didn’t love Quiz? The ‘stache, the humor, that wonderfully quirky submarine delivery — it all culminated in one of the least overpowering yet effective closers the game has seen.

In addition to his considerable skill as a relief pitcher, Dan Quisenberry enjoyed sharing his wit and intellect by putting pen to paper. A small book of poems that Quiz wrote was published just prior to his death in 1998 titled On Days Like This. I have this book and for all it’s beauty, one poem in particular has always stayed with me, a poem about being done with the game and wanting to return home to his family. Fitting for a man who loved his family and who was about far more than baseball.

Time to Quit

i’m warmin up in san francisco

you see

it’s a damp wind-off-the-water cold

and i’m tryin to throw sinkers

into this gale force

the ball

a sparrow in a hurricane

barely makes it

i reach back and grunt

whip it in there like the old days

but i’m a salmon swimming up river

a doberman gnaws my shoulder

with each toss

and i keep seeing the letter my daughter

wrote inside a crayoned tear drop

saying “come home”

 

skip’s out there on the mound

looks back at me

i want to be invisible

don’t want to play anymore

just an advil

a shower

and a quick flight home

Quiz died on September 30, 1998 from a brain tumor, and he’s been missed ever since. Baseball needs more Dan Quisenberry’s. Men that love the game, play it to the fullest of their natural abilities, but who also understand its place in life. Something tells me Quiz got every last ounce out of his.

For being a 3-time All-Star, for leading the American League in saves five times in six years (1980-85), for taking home five AL Rolaids Relief awards, for still ranking 28th on the all-time saves list, for his dry wit, for helping the Royals franchise win their one and only World Series championship and for the poetry that was Quiz; B & C salutes Dan Quisenberry and honors his memory on the 55th anniversary of his birth.

*****

We have love for you too!

Born on this day in:

1978 – Endy Chavez (.306 in 133 games for the 2006 NL East champion Mets, and he managed one little play with his glove…)

[youtube]http://youtube.com/watch?v=aBUrOjpZakw[/youtube]

1957Carney Lansford (1981 AL batting champion)

1955 Damaso Garcia (2-time All-Star)

1951 — Benny Ayala (1-for-1 with an RBI in the ’83 World Series for Baltimore)

1950 — Burt Hooton (1981 All-Star and MVP of the ’81 NLCS)

1937 – Juan Pizarro (2-time All-Star)

1928 — Al Smith (3-time All-Star)

1924 — Paul Owens (“Pope” skippered the Phils to the ’83 NL pennant)

1899 — Earl Whitehill (Double digits in wins for 13 consecutive seasons, 1924-36)

1893 — Charlie Jamieson (.303 over 18 seasons)

1878 – Spike Shannon (Led NL in runs for 1907)

1876 — Pat Moran (748-586 as a manager, skippered the 1919 Reds to the title)

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One Response to “Birthday Time: Take 38 — Quiz”
  1. jeffrey needham says:

    although i was too young to see quiz in action he has left a significant impact on my royals fandom. i’m 24, but my parents recorded all of ’85’s glory on vhs for me to relive. sadly, i was at quiz’s final farewell at the K a few months before his death and they drove him around in an early ’60’s vette and he was so humble and very happy. everyone knew he was going to pass, but it was sad to hear so shortly after that he had. he was quite the legend and a pitching anomaly at the same time. happy birthday quiz!

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